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sam_a86

Please Help!! :( Company threaten legal action for me selling their brand on eBay

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I would not sign this.

 

can you confirm if the letter was askin you where you bought them from etc?


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Guest Cartaphilus

There, see I said it needed someone else with more knowledge ... to deal with it. :|

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This is very common in the uk and usa.

 

I have not known any that has went to court ( obviously this means i have not found one that has)

 

They try this as a scare tactic.

 

It is important you do not sign this to admit to anything

 

I do not condone selling counterfeit items but what these companies try to do is scare you and bully you into making some cash, and most are unaware of it.

 

They have got your personal details from ebay.

 

You will normally receive 2 letters then nothing.


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Guest Cartaphilus

Well, I thought it sounded a bit dodgy from the start, but wasn't sure.

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yes it can be quite frightening.

 

there was loads of these queries on the dicussion boards on ebay and this was the advice given

 

I have tried to see if there was any in cache but it takes you to ebay board but then the link dies :| sicne they have now updated their format


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Just a filler, as I know several colleagues who have been in similar positions.

 

Firstly goofbay.

 

Many sellers of fake signed football shirts (amongst other things) will sell their rubbish on private listings - that way you can't check to see how many "rare, signed Wayne Rooney shirt"'s they have sold this week. Goofbay will show everything a seller has sold in the previous 90 days. There are other useful tools eg snipers, misspellings tools, feedback checkers etc.

 

The reason they have used goofbay is possibly because you have used private listings. Despite scare stories, eBay, as a rule, won't release that much information to the company without a court order, which could be why they have checked goofbay to see what you have sold. I've been involved in a trading standards investigation that took over 3 years involving an ebay seller and the information "we" got from ebay was hard fought over, I can tell you !

 

Now then. They obviously do have your address, so there's a very good chance that they have actually bought something off you and that's how they have determined authenticity. I know Umbro and Adidas do this for a fact, so if it's one of them, then that's how they have got the info.

 

You are under no obligation whatsoever to provide ANY information to them about your customers - indeed, you could well be breaking the law if you do.

 

You obviously shouldn't list any more of these items if there is any doubt as to their authenticity and to be on the safe side I would make sure there are none left in the house.

 

You are also under no obligation to put your hand in your pocket either as they can't just throw a bill at you and demand you pay it. They can ask, of course, and you can pay, but they can't force you to pay anything. And, of course, if it went to court they would have to prove the item they have in their posession actually came from you - which could prove tricky.

 

The traders I know who have been in similar positions varied their responses. I know 2 did nothing at all (other than remove the questionable items) and one wrote back admitting nothing, but agreeing not to sell any more. No further action was taken.

 

I can only give you my experience of this, but if you took a postal payment instead of a paypal payment on any of them, then that's likely to be the one that got you in hot water.

 

Be a bit more careful in future and try not to lose any sleep. They will certainly be watching you and won't let things drop if they have cause to remove your items again - even if it's on a second account.

  • Haha 1

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PS - I'm not saying you sell fake signed Rooney shirts by the way !! - I was just using that as an example of why goofbay is a useful tool !

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I would not sign this.

 

can you confirm if the letter was askin you where you bought them from etc?

 

Yes i can confirm they wanted me to provide them with details of where i bought the items from, who supplied me etc

 

This is very common in the uk and usa.

 

I have not known any that has went to court ( obviously this means i have not found one that has)

 

They try this as a scare tactic.

 

It is important you do not sign this to admit to anything

 

I do not condone selling counterfeit items but what these companies try to do is scare you and bully you into making some cash, and most are unaware of it.

 

They have got your personal details from ebay.

 

You will normally receive 2 letters then nothing.

 

thank you for your advice friend,

 

So do you think i should not sign it and ignore it? because i was thinking of sending them a letter explaining my situation etc , should i just completly ignore the letter? and how sure are you that they wont take further action? thank you once again.

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[quote=Pendle_dad;3141529

You are under no obligation whatsoever to provide ANY information to them about your customers - indeed, you could well be breaking the law if you do.

 

You obviously shouldn't list any more of these items if there is any doubt as to their authenticity and to be on the safe side I would make sure there are none left in the house.

 

You are also under no obligation to put your hand in your pocket either as they can't just throw a bill at you and demand you pay it. They can ask, of course, and you can pay, but they can't force you to pay anything. And, of course, if it went to court they would have to prove the item they have in their posession actually came from you - which could prove tricky.

 

The traders I know who have been in similar positions varied their responses. I know 2 did nothing at all (other than remove the questionable items) and one wrote back admitting nothing, but agreeing not to sell any more. No further action was taken.

 

I can only give you my experience of this, but if you took a postal payment instead of a paypal payment on any of them, then that's likely to be the one that got you in hot water.

 

Be a bit more careful in future and try not to lose any sleep. They will certainly be watching you and won't let things drop if they have cause to remove your items again - even if it's on a second account.

 

Thank you for your advice,

So do you think I should not sign the letter at all, that was my first instinct, but they seem really serious and I’m scared in case they take this issue further and I end up in court paying more than they asked for.

I will not be listing any of their items ever, but when you say I shouldn’t keep any at home, do you mean there’s a chance they can search my house, would they be allowed to do that?

What would you recommend I do? Should I just ignore it, or send them a letter admitting nothing but telling them I won’t sell anymore?

I didn’t take any postal payments, all my payments have been made via paypal.

Once again thank you for your help.

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Thank you for your advice,

So do you think I should not sign the letter at all

 

Rule 1 - play safe - admit nothing - sign nothing !

 

 

 

... but they seem really serious and I’m scared in case they take this issue further and I end up in court paying more than they asked for.

 

 

... of course they seem serious - the intention is to stop you selling any more of these items. They have, therefore, succeeded in what they actually wanted to do.

 

 

I will not be listing any of their items ever, but when you say I shouldn’t keep any at home, do you mean there’s a chance they can search my house, would they be allowed to do that?

 

 

They wouldn't, no, but trading standards would - but only if they have been given a search warrant. If they had a search warrant, you would have known by now, they wouldn't give you any warning (ie chance to dispose of things) and having made you aware now that they have been watching you, they've given you a chance to get rid of anything suspicious so it's highly unlikely they'd bother. Still - being safe won't do any harm... just in case.

 

What would you recommend I do? Should I just ignore it, or send them a letter admitting nothing but telling them I won’t sell anymore?

I didn’t take any postal payments, all my payments have been made via paypal.

Once again thank you for your help.

 

I wouldn't be bold enough to actually recommend anything to you other than Rule 1 ! All I can do is let you know what happened to colleagues of mine. I've just remembered that when you sell an item and send an invoice to a customer, your payment address is also sent to them automatically on the eBay invoice in case they want to send payment that way, so they could have got your address that way too .

 

You can send them a letter admitting nothing and stating the items won't be sold again if you like, or you can put it to one side and wait for any (unlikely) follow up. I wouldn't even mention the rest (ie customer details or details of the person who supplied you).

 

As mentioned earlier, there have been a number of threads on the ebay discussions boards about this over the years - I have yet to hear of anyone who has had any further action taken in situations like these.

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Sounds like chancers to me and if you do sign anything your letting them win easy.

 

I could have seen your auctions and compiled a similar letter and sent to you demanding

money etc..

 

What proof have they provided that the items were fake/counterfit?

Do they even have any proof other than a Velo complaint?

 

If they do not have any of the items you were selling how can they 100% say they are fakes?

 

 

The debt collection industry is failing and every single company,debt collectors/solicitors are now looking at different ways

to get cash out of us.

From demands for downloading porn/games etc.. to now searching EBay for breeches they are all getting rather desperate.

 

I personally would never sign that reply and would ask them for strict proof.

 

As a student even if they were genuine and you ended up in court you would end up paying them £1/£2 a week and no

lump sum of £550.

 

George

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I think you would be wise to respond to their demands positively. Should this get in the hands of Trading Standards, then a prosecution will follow and the plea of 'did not know' will not help.

 

You could try and fight it but as you know that the goods were in fact counterfeit there wouldn't be much hope of coming out on top plus the fees would increase tremendously with expert witnesses etc; as well as having a criminal record.

 

They will have purchased a sample before they decided to go after you.

 

There are a lot of purchases of suspected counterfit goods from auction sites and has been for many years, they are taken seriously and invariably end in prosecution.

Edited by Conniff

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Interesting thread.

Do you have a sales receipt from the warehouse, and does it describe the tops as being of that brand?

 

If so it would help with damage limitation..if you have proof that you were deceived. I suspect they will be more interested in tracking down the wholesalers than throwing money at suing a penniless student making pin money.

As a student on low income you should be due to legal aid. Does your uni / union have a legal advice facility? If not I would get a free 1/2 hour initial interview with a solicitor asap.

 

Elsa x


PLEASE NOTE... I AM MOST SORRY BUT I HAVE VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT THE MOMENT DUE TO EXTREME PRESSURE OF WORK - IF YOU REQUIRE URGENT HELP ON YOUR THREAD AND ARE GETTING NO RESPONSE PLEASE HIT THE TRIANGLE FOR SITE TEAM ASSISTANCE. ELSA XXX

 

Please check out my BLOG for the quick guide to debt threats - it has all the info & letter template links you need to get started on your journey of TAKING CONTROL. :roll:

 

All opinions are my own based on research. I am not legally qualified, if in doubt please consult a legal expert.

Hope this has helped or made you smile. Keep your chin up, you're among friends now! Elsa xxx

Please click the *star* of any CAG member who has helped you .

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Guest Cartaphilus

Pendle dad ... I beleieve Ida has already posted about this being a well known money making thing. In fact DO remember seeing something on the ebay forums about a while ago. Also, Sam's username is the same as someone's on ebay ... As it's in the public domain it's easily searchable. But as opposed to all positive feedback as stated, it's not. Now, there have been some ambiguities on both sides here as it's an ebay username, an ebay matter ... Would lead most to think .... Most would be careful I would think, given it's an issue involving counterfeiting not to be using the same name OR just the same one as someone has in ebay. For example if it's not the same user.... It could lead to obvious problems in terms of trade. Something I never mentioned before but was thinking about, because of that ambuguity. You've been accused of counterfeiting would you be seriously advertising it by using an ebay ID?

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Guest Cartaphilus

Exactly elsa, I would also think they'd be more interested in the source because of it flooding Ebay with fake goods. But when you search for this company in conjunction with ebay ... On google it produces nothing ie posts from similar cases ... Asides from on their own website. That could mean nithing but given Ebay .... Counterfeits .... I would have expected to find one or two references to it or someone else had similar letters from this company. This is what made me suspiscious about it from the start. I've actually seen one of these documents myself, in conjunction with something else, but it came from a very high profile London solicitors trading for decades. But in the documents it does mention the source ie Ebay and VERO given it was an infringement of copyright. They got all their info from ebay as vero is in their website and is part of their reporting policy. Therefore any report should go through them given it would have been one of their brand members or VERO members would be involved somewhere. No mentions of goofbay, even though it did exist at the time of the letter. Now, because the person was cooperative and also apologetic in that they genuinely didn't know what they'd purchased was a bootleg - in fact it's on ebay now, but also can be found on amazon more recently from traders and has been for years - but because a buyer probably reported using the report section on ebay it then went through vero as a matter if procedure.

 

All fees were also waived because of that cooperation being more interested in supplier. But like I said still being sold in ebay to this day.

 

So if that solicitor got their data from ebay because of vero, where the report more than likely originated given it's part of ebay,why didn't they? Hence where the stuff as Ida raised comes in.

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Hmmm I see. Real conundrum.

In any event I wouldn't do or sign anything without verifying their validity with the brand company.

 

Maybe a letter stating something on the lines of:

 

Dear Sirs,

I was shocked to receive your letter as I never have and never would knowingly sell counterfeit goods on Ebay or elsewhere and without making further enquires cannot acknowledge that I have done so.

Items I have sold recently were a one off purchase from a warehouse who sold them as authentic goods, which I had no reason to disbelieve. I have retained the invoice (delete if incorrect).

The sales were a one off attempt to raise funds to pay essential bills, as I am a student on a very low income.

In view of your letter I have not and will not offer any more of these items for sale as requested.

While I am not aware of having done anything wrong, I am nonetheless anxious to be co-operative. Obviously I am not in a financial position to make any payments and in any event I feel that I would need to seek further verification of your claim by contacting (the original company) and take legal advice before signing any documents.

 

As I believed the items to be authentic, if they were proved to be otherwise I hope in the circumstances you will overlook this as a genuine error and will advise me within 7 days that this is the case.

Alternatively I request that you confirm that you are willing to give me 28 days from receipt of this letter to allow me time to make enquiries with the wholesalers, (original company) and to consult a Solicitor.

If I receive no response from you within 28 days I will assume that the matter is closed.

yours faithfully etc

 

Just a thought, in order to cover all possibilities. If it's a [problem], they'll scarper, if it's not they might barter for the wholesalers ID in return for not demanding recompense.

What do others think?

 

Elsa x


PLEASE NOTE... I AM MOST SORRY BUT I HAVE VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT THE MOMENT DUE TO EXTREME PRESSURE OF WORK - IF YOU REQUIRE URGENT HELP ON YOUR THREAD AND ARE GETTING NO RESPONSE PLEASE HIT THE TRIANGLE FOR SITE TEAM ASSISTANCE. ELSA XXX

 

Please check out my BLOG for the quick guide to debt threats - it has all the info & letter template links you need to get started on your journey of TAKING CONTROL. :roll:

 

All opinions are my own based on research. I am not legally qualified, if in doubt please consult a legal expert.

Hope this has helped or made you smile. Keep your chin up, you're among friends now! Elsa xxx

Please click the *star* of any CAG member who has helped you .

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Sounds like chancers to me and if you do sign anything your letting them win easy.

 

I could have seen your auctions and compiled a similar letter and sent to you demanding

money etc..

 

What proof have they provided that the items were fake/counterfit?

Do they even have any proof other than a Velo complaint?

 

If they do not have any of the items you were selling how can they 100% say they are fakes?

 

 

The debt collection industry is failing and every single company,debt collectors/solicitors are now looking at different ways

to get cash out of us.

From demands for downloading porn/games etc.. to now searching EBay for breeches they are all getting rather desperate.

 

The only proof they have are a few pictures of the actual items i was selling, i dont think they have one of the actual tshirts, but even if they did how can they prove that came from me?

 

I personally would never sign that reply and would ask them for strict proof.

 

As a student even if they were genuine and you ended up in court you would end up paying them £1/£2 a week and no

lump sum of £550.

 

George

 

Thanks George , but if i reply and ask them for strict proof, it might seem like i'm playing hard-ball with them and it might anger them even more which is something i don't want to do, i think i'm just going to take the hard way and co-operate with them.

 

I think you would be wise to respond to their demands positively. Should this get in the hands of Trading Standards, then a prosecution will follow and the plea of 'did not know' will not help.

 

You could try and fight it but as you know that the goods were in fact counterfeit there wouldn't be much hope of coming out on top plus the fees would increase tremendously with expert witnesses etc; as well as having a criminal record.

 

They will have purchased a sample before they decided to go after you.

 

There are a lot of purchases of suspected counterfit goods from auction sites and has been for many years, they are taken seriously and invariably end in prosecution.

 

Thank you, I think that's what i will be doing, I will be responding to them wisely and being co-operative with them. Even if i can ignore it and it would go away, that's still a risk i'm taking because i don't know for 100% that it would actually just go away and the last thing i want is a criminal record.

 

Interesting thread.

Do you have a sales receipt from the warehouse, and does it describe the tops as being of that brand?

 

If so it would help with damage limitation..if you have proof that you were deceived. I suspect they will be more interested in tracking down the wholesalers than throwing money at suing a penniless student making pin money.

As a student on low income you should be due to legal aid. Does your uni / union have a legal advice facility? If not I would get a free 1/2 hour initial interview with a solicitor asap.

 

Elsa x

 

Hey Elsa, thanks for your advice, I actually don't have any invoices/receipts/proof of purchases, and I don't really want to get my uni involved in this, but do you know how I would go on getting a free interview with a solicitor?

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First it is not against the law to buy in bulk and sell at a profit. The only issue here is the claim,as yet to be substatiated, that the tops were counterfeit.

The solicitors should be looking to tackle your supplier since they are likely to be far bigger in turnover than you are.

 

I would reply to the letter, acknowledge their concerns, and say you bought the tops in good faith from xxxx, enclosing full details of them.

Say as far as you are concerned this ends the matter, and you will be not entering into further correspondence with them.

 

Don't show any weakness, don't apologise and don't offer any restitution as they will see you as a soft target to lean on and make a quick £500 for writing a few letters.

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Guest Cartaphilus
Even if i can ignore it and it would go away, that's still a risk i'm taking because i don't know for 100% that it would actually just go away and the last thing i want is a criminal record.

 

Like I said earlier, it will be flagged with at the very least HMRC and, possibly, any law enforcement agencies. That will more than likely happen - as it happens to anyone who sells counterfeit goods, be they small private sellers or any landbased business, so just to warn you about that because you would be known as having previously sold counterfeit goods whether you knew they were or not at the time, it's not a grey area or either/or for example - I don't know how long they hold this data for but it will be a while eg a few years.

and I don't really want to get my uni involved in this, but do you know how I would go on getting a free interview with a solicitor?

 

I was going to suggest you got your student union involved - I'd also think they are used to dealing with these problems, it's a university for starters, and with that a very wide range of problems from a very diverse culture but I can understand why you wouldn't want to involve your university but would student union not keep such things confidential? especially as it's a foolish mistake, that can have serious consequences for your position as a student but also your tenure there? - as to the solicitor, google in your area for ones offering free services and, again, you can probably get that through student unions but you don't have to tell them why you want to know it do you?

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Thanks for that letter template, it's just what i needed,

 

I will be sending them something similar on Monday and will wait for their response, hopefully it will be a positive one, a friend of mine told me they are not worried about receiving money from you as they are more worried about the clients brand being sold without them profiting, which i think is correct, so she told me if i just tell them i wont ever sell it again, and supply them with as much info as possible they might see me as being co-operative and hopefully waive the payment.

Edited by sam_a86

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Hi Sam,

Check out the community legal advice site:

 

http://www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk/

 

Elsa x


PLEASE NOTE... I AM MOST SORRY BUT I HAVE VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT THE MOMENT DUE TO EXTREME PRESSURE OF WORK - IF YOU REQUIRE URGENT HELP ON YOUR THREAD AND ARE GETTING NO RESPONSE PLEASE HIT THE TRIANGLE FOR SITE TEAM ASSISTANCE. ELSA XXX

 

Please check out my BLOG for the quick guide to debt threats - it has all the info & letter template links you need to get started on your journey of TAKING CONTROL. :roll:

 

All opinions are my own based on research. I am not legally qualified, if in doubt please consult a legal expert.

Hope this has helped or made you smile. Keep your chin up, you're among friends now! Elsa xxx

Please click the *star* of any CAG member who has helped you .

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Guest Cartaphilus
I don't know how long they hold this data for but it will be a while eg a few years.

 

BUT, I should also say that it will not affect your every day activities, nor you being a student or anything else for that matter. Just that it will be listed with them or would be if Ebay have reported it to them in turn. That said, none of this is new, and you were caught out, plenty of others have been before now. How many CDRs, DVDs are on Ebay for example ... you don't know they are fake unless you know what to look for or someone points it out to you or ... sometimes it's obvious from the cut/paste done on them. Out of interest which brand was it, if you don't mind me asking? After years of complaints, Watchdog reports Ebay is ... very slowly grasping that it's been used as a venue for selling such goods for example ...

 

However, I/we can sit here all day thinking how it got reported, what should happen ... But you've had some very good advice from others so far and ... It's not the end of the world, though right now it may seem to be. It can be worked out.

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BUT, I should also say that it will not affect your every day activities, nor you being a student or anything else for that matter. Just that it will be listed with them or would be if Ebay have reported it to them in turn. That said, none of this is new, and you were caught out, plenty of others have been before now. How many CDRs, DVDs are on Ebay for example ... you don't know they are fake unless you know what to look for or someone points it out to you or ... sometimes it's obvious from the cut/paste done on them. Out of interest which brand was it, if you don't mind me asking? After years of complaints, Watchdog reports Ebay is ... very slowly grasping that it's been used as a venue for selling such goods for example ...

 

However, I/we can sit here all day thinking how it got reported, what should happen ... But you've had some very good advice from others so far and ... It's not the end of the world, though right now it may seem to be. It can be worked out.

 

Thanks for all your help Cartaphilus, you have given me some useful links and future help.

 

I think my final decision would be, to send them the letter explaining my situation like Elsa said, and maybe attaching a mini sales recored (not including customers names , addresses etc), just how much i bought the item for, how much it sold, how many i sold etc, they have this info anyway so it wont hurt to give it to them, but i will be sure to tell them i cant pay their legal feed or any other fees

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Good luck with it Sam. You will come back and let us know how you get on won't you?

 

kind regards,

 

Elsa x


PLEASE NOTE... I AM MOST SORRY BUT I HAVE VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT THE MOMENT DUE TO EXTREME PRESSURE OF WORK - IF YOU REQUIRE URGENT HELP ON YOUR THREAD AND ARE GETTING NO RESPONSE PLEASE HIT THE TRIANGLE FOR SITE TEAM ASSISTANCE. ELSA XXX

 

Please check out my BLOG for the quick guide to debt threats - it has all the info & letter template links you need to get started on your journey of TAKING CONTROL. :roll:

 

All opinions are my own based on research. I am not legally qualified, if in doubt please consult a legal expert.

Hope this has helped or made you smile. Keep your chin up, you're among friends now! Elsa xxx

Please click the *star* of any CAG member who has helped you .

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style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 3023 days.

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